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Adrian Florido

Univision has named Ilia Calderon as co-anchor of Noticiero Univision — Spanish-language media's most important evening news broadcast. Calderon is the first Afro-Latina to anchor a national news program, which is a big deal for a network often criticized for racially insensitive content and its lack of darker-skinned on-air talent.


Valery Pozo still gets angry thinking about it. It was about a decade ago, and the immigrant communities in her hometown, Salt Lake City, were on edge because of recent immigration enforcement raids in the area. Pozo's mother, an immigrant from Peru, was on the sidelines at her son's soccer game when another parent asked whether she was "illegal."

"To me, that was clearly a racist question and a racist assumption," Pozo recalled.

But her mother saw it as a harmless comment, despite Pozo's best efforts to convince her that it was something bigger.

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As the water rose on their first-floor apartment, Rosa Sosa and her family fled to a vacant unit on the second floor. They watched in horror as it continued to rise, as it swallowed most of the cars in the parking lot that rings their sprawling two-story complex, as it stuck around, stubbornly, even after the rain stopped.

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In the 1970s, the nation's Latino advocacy groups had grown fed up with the U.S. Census Bureau. During its 1970 population count, the agency had made a half-hearted attempt to quantify the number of Latinos and Hispanics living in the United States.

In the mayor's office on the second floor of Baltimore City Hall, Catalina Rodriguez-Lima has been uneasy lately. Rodriguez-Lima runs a city office whose mission is to attract new immigrants to Baltimore — a strategy for reversing decades of population decline. But President Donald Trump's plans to ramp up deportations of immigrants in the U.S. illegally have cast a pall over her efforts.

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Researchers at Stanford University this week published a study that may bolster the argument that policies aimed at encouraging immigrants to come out of the shadows actually improve public safety. They found that a 2013 California law granting driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally reduced hit-and-run accidents by 7 to 10 percent in 2015, meaning roughly 4,000 fewer hit-and-runs. In that same year, 600,000 people got driver's licenses under the law.

Code Switch's Adrian Florido has been covering the new sanctuary movement for us. For this episode, he spoke to key players to understand why hundreds of churches are ready to start a public fight with the current administration to prevent deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

He also looks at why the movement has to wrestle with important questions: Who controls the story and the message? How much say does an individual or family have in how a sanctuary church leverages their story?

Over the weekend, I was in Los Angeles and attended a production of Zoot Suit, by the trailblazing Chicano playwright Luis Valdez.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Sunday that he disagreed with President Trump's recent declaration that the press is "the enemy."

The racial wealth gap has been measured and studied for decades. One fact has remained the same: White families build and accumulate more wealth more quickly than black and brown families do.

The notion that some immigrants in the United States illegally are more deserving of the right to stay than others has been a tenet of U.S. immigration policies for some time.

President Barack Obama often alluded to it when he talked about how the government should determine whom to deport. "Felons, not families," he said in 2014, suggesting that some immigrants are good and others are bad.

There's a popular saying in Spanish — O todos en la cama, o todos en el suelo. It conveys a selfless commitment to equal treatment, and translates roughly like this: Either we all get the bed, or we all get the floor.

Among many immigrants in the U.S., there's been a feeling that when it comes to the spoils of U.S. immigration policy, the government has given Cubans the bed all to themselves, while it has relegated others — Mexicans, Haitians, Central Americans — to the floor.

It was billed as a "listening session," a chance for Latino leaders from across the country to sit down with members of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team and talk about the issues important to them and to their constituents.

Viridiana Martinez's parents brought her to the U.S. illegally when she was 7. But it wasn't until she was in her 20s, when she took the microphone at a rally in Durham, N.C., that she "came out" as being unauthorized herself. Martinez, now 30, has been on the front lines of the immigrant rights movement in North Carolina ever since.

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Two days before the presidential election, a remarkable media narrative was taking shape. Latinos, huge numbers of them, were turning out to vote early, and they were doing it in crucial swing states.

It looked like the election, in which many Latinos had felt attacked by the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, was going to end with the most poetic justice. Latinos were going to deliver Trump's candidacy its final death blow.

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got booed off a stage in Orlando on Sunday, by a crowd that was overwhelmingly Latino.

It happened at Calle Orange, a street festival in downtown Orlando geared toward the city's large Puerto Rican community. The icy reception was an indication of the challenges that Rubio, a Republican of Cuban heritage, has faced in locking down support from Latinos in Florida as the state's Latino electorate has begun to shift to the left.

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Around a candle-lit altar honoring one of the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Anthony Laureano and his friends hold hands, mourn in two languages, and say a prayer:

"Estamos aqui ... We're here together ... Porque no somos diferentes ... Because we're not different."

Nearby, Francheska Garcia holds a collage of photos of her friend Jonathan Camuy. "What I'm going to remember is his smile," Garcia says. "He was Puerto Rican. Because usually our parents live over there and we're the rebel ones who move here, to make it on our own."

This story is part of an occasional Code Switch series we're calling "The Obama Effect." The series explores how conversations about race and identity have evolved over the course of the Obama presidency. You can read more about the series here.

Last month, we told you that the Code Switch team is embarking on a big reporting project we're calling The Obama Effect. The series, coinciding with the final year of Barack Obama's administration, will explore the ways that his presidency has (or hasn't) altered how Americans talk and think about race, ethnicity and identity.

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